The question that I get asked most often by financial services CXO’s is “how do we move beyond just ‘supporting’ Hybrid Work to ‘powering’ Hybrid Work with the right technology stack so that we can address the challenges of attracting and engaging an evolving workforce and keep the organization moving forward in an agile and sustainable way.”

Throughout the pandemic, financial services firms have been prioritizing health and safety of their employees by implementing hybrid work whilst abiding by guidelines and regulations. However, not everyone has had success with their “hybrid work” deployments. Those that have got it right to some extent are realizing the benefits.

A large number of financial services firms have struggled to implement “an optimum workable hybrid work model”. The challenge is they have tried to retrofit “remote work implementations” with technology upgrades and add-on’s as guided by their many different technology partners.

Hybrid Work in the context of financial services can be defined as an employee centric, business transformative approach that designs the work experience around and for the employee, wherever they are. It empowers employees to work onsite, offsite, and move between locations with uniform access to all the business tools and resources in a highly secure, compliant and efficient manner thus promoting inclusiveness, engagement, and well-being for all employees while driving employee performance, business productivity and talent retention.

While a future-proofed technology stack is a critical pillar of the hybrid work model, getting Hybrid Work to work also requires reimagining current and emerging operating models and optimizing them such that employee engagement, experience and well-being is enhanced while financial services delivery just keeps getting better with more delighted customers.

Financial services firms that have their operating models reimagined/transformed to support the hybrid work model have the first mover advantage of becoming fully resilient businesses, ready to weather any storm.

A “Hybrid Work Powered” operating model for financial services firms should at the least have the  following 5 characteristics :

Hybris Work

1. INCLUSIVE – offering equal experiences for everyone. Enables firms to provide a work environment where every employee can participate fully and be seen and heard equally.

2. FLEXIBLE – adapting to any work style, role, and environment. Enables employees spread across different office locations, types (home etc.), time zones and even countries, working at different hours have access to flexible tools that can address their different needs while adapting to their work styles, roles, and devices.

3. SUPPORTIVE – focusing on safety, empathy, and well-being.  Enables firms to promote a supportive mindset throughout every level of the organization thus ensuring that employees are comfortable with ways of working and feel safe, secure, supported, included, and cared.

4. SECURE – being secure by design, private by default.  Enables employees to have worry-free access to reliable and secure connectivity and secure app experiences thus ensuring all team members can work and collaborate with confidence anywhere they choose to work and have consistent, uninterrupted access to the required applications.

5. MANAGED – delivering modern infrastructure, frictionless administration. Enables IT teams to operate and manage the complex and dynamic hybrid work environment, using an approach known as full-stack observability which delivers optimized user experiences and enhanced enterprise technology management.

To get “hybrid work to work”, financial services firms need to reimagine/transform their operating models to deliver the key characteristics mentioned earlier and not just depend on “retrofitting” their existing IT stacks with hybrid work enabled “siloed” products.

Investing in a “future-proofed hybrid work technology stack” such as Cisco’s “secure-by-design*” Hybrid Work Solution Technology Stack enables financial services firms to reimagine/transform their operating model thus moving past “supporting” to “powering” Hybrid Work in a highly secure and compliant manner by empowering workers to work from anywhere, at home or in the office while also providing a positive outcome for every business sponsor and stakeholder (HR, Facilities, IT etc.) who are involved in defining and implementing the financial services firms hybrid work strategy.

Learn more about Cisco’s Hybrid Work solutions.

*Secure By Design




Mathew Varghese

Chief Technology Officer, Financial Services

APJ Systems Engineering - Architects